Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Shadow Game #2

King of Fools

Rate this book
Indulge your vices in the City of Sin, where a sinister street war is brewing and fame is the deadliest killer of them all...

On the quest to find her missing mother, prim and proper Enne Salta became reluctant allies with Levi Glaisyer, the city’s most famous con man. Saving his life in the Shadow Game forced Enne to assume the identity of Seance, a mysterious underworld figure. Now, with the Chancellor of the Republic dead and bounties on both their heads, she and Levi must play a dangerous game of crime and politics…with the very fate of New Reynes at stake.

Thirsting for his freedom and the chance to build an empire, Levi enters an unlikely partnership with Vianca Augustine’s estranged son. Meanwhile, Enne remains trapped by the mafia donna’s binding oath, playing the roles of both darling lady and cunning street lord, unsure which side of herself reflects the truth.

As Enne and Levi walk a path of unimaginable wealth and opportunity, new relationships and deadly secrets could quickly lead them into ruin. And when unforeseen players enter the game, they must each make an impossible choice: To sacrifice everything they’ve earned in order to survive...

Or die as legends.

602 pages, Hardcover

First published April 30, 2019

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Amanda Foody

23 books2,571 followers
Amanda Foody is the New York Times and indie bestselling author of All of Us Villains, the Wilderlore series, the Shadow Game series, and more. Her work has appeared in publications including Buzzfeed, Popsugar, Culturess, and Amazon selected All of Us Villains as the Best Young Adult Book of 2021. Originally from Pennsylvania, she lives in Boston, MA with her partner and their orange tabby, Jelly Bean. When not writing, she unironically loves to cook.

All of Our Demise, the sequel to All of Us Villains, will release on August 30, 2022. The third book in the Wilderlore series, The Ever Storms, will follow on February 7, 2023.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
2,017 (32%)
4 stars
2,733 (43%)
3 stars
1,263 (20%)
2 stars
244 (3%)
1 star
46 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,129 reviews
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,537 reviews9,793 followers
February 19, 2023
Amanda Foody!!!

((foot stomp))

Amanda FOODY!!!

((hand clap))



I will never be the same again. RESPECT.

Picking up directly after the events of Ace of Shades, King of Fools, the second installment of The Shadow Game trilogy, is so packed full of action and political intrigue, it left my head spinning!

We see the return of our favorite characters, Enne, Levi, Lola and Jac, and meet great new characters as well. Most notably for me, a girl with a penchant for blowing things up.

I love you, Tock. ❤

New deals, alliances and deceptions abound, with the final scenes shaking New Reynes to its core!!!

I was really impressed with the maturation of Foody's writing for this installment.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the first book, but I had some issues regarding the magic system and world-building.

Those types of criticisms are completely absent with this one.

The plot is seamless. The world lush and bold. The magic system didn't feel as prevalent in this one and I never felt confused by what was there.

I look at this as an evident improvement over the first novel and I hope other people feel the same way.

In addition to the growth I feel I have witnessed for the author, the growth in these characters was tremendous as well.

Enne and Levi both have strong character arcs; Enne most of all. The strategies and ambitions they both show, man, so good.

If you are a Slytherin, like me, this series is not to be missed. Also, if you were just okay with the first book, I really hope you continue on. I do not see how this second book could disappoint!

Now, for the question of how the heck I am going to survive until the third book is released!?

Thank you so much to the publisher, Inkyard Press, for providing me with an early copy of this to read and review.

You know I will be knocking on your door as soon as I know there are review copies of Book 3!

Profile Image for High Lady of The Night Court.
135 reviews5,056 followers
May 6, 2021
“Because the hero of one story is the villain of someone else’s. It’s all just a matter of who wins.”

King of Fools was so much more than I more was expecting from this world. It was so much more complicated and the sheer amount of things that happened in this book is unbelievable. There was not a single moment that wasn't packed with plot and not a single moment which was slow.

The relationship between all the characters evolves so much and just as new relations and made old ones can be broken. This book was a roller coaster in the sense that the protagonists go through many events of which some are amazing and some that are huge set backs, and events like this happen over and over again. The scale is constantly tipping from one side to another and there is very little distinction between good and evil, of any at all.

The relationships between the characters are highlighted in this book, more so than the last one, because we see the book in three perspectives and all three characters have very different plans and goals and are in starkly varied situations. In the last book all the character had similar paths and worked together in many things, while they still work together they also work individually in a way that is both personal growth for some of them and destructive for others.We see the book through Enne, Levi, and Jac’s perspective.

“They were playing with legends, and every legend needed a shred of truth.
Their truth would be blood.”

The last book ended with Enne and Levi running after the events of the Shadow Game. Enne discovers that she is a Mizer and Levi kills the chancellor. Now, there is a war brewing between the North Side and the South Side of New Reynes. The leaders of the gangs and their seconds have bounties on their heads and are being hunted and amongst them is Seánce, which is Enne’s secret identity.

Vianca Augustine is going to run in the elections but now her son, Harrison Augustine, is running and recruits Levi to help him win the election, and in return Harrison will kill Vianca and set Levi free from Vianca’s omerta. Levi must figure out if the risk is worth his freedom and if he chooses to accept the offer he must figure out how to plot Harrison’s rise without disobeying Vianca’s orders.

The blurb of this book is pretty vague and I didn't understand why before, but after having read the book I completely understand. To mention anything else will confuse the readers and explaining it would reveal major spoilers. So if you liked the last book I would definitely encourage you to read this one.

Ruthless, painful and unforgiving, it is a book about ambition, vengeance, and loss. It's about gambling, luck, murder, and weighing the risks of opportunities against death. It is extravagant and complicated and heartbreaking. It's about legends and history and superstition. It's about games, fights, manipulation, and staying one step ahead of your opponent. It is about power freedom and safety. It is shocking, revealing, and intricate.
And it's only getting better.

“Maybe your soul didn’t break like a bone. Maybe it broke like a promise.”
Profile Image for ✨ Helena ✨.
369 reviews978 followers
December 26, 2019

Everything that could’ve gone wrong DID. All of my babies are suffering and I’m so, so sad. Can I just treat this book as a hoax? This can’t possibly be how everything went down.

I need the finale NOW!
Profile Image for Emma Giordano.
317 reviews116k followers
June 17, 2019
4.5 Stars!

I received a copy of this book from Inkyard Press. I had no obligation to read or review this book and all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for sarah.
392 reviews261 followers
April 2, 2020
#1.) Ace of Shades ★★★★.5
#2.) King of Fools ★★★★

Amanda Foody is quickly becoming one of my favourite YA fantasy authors and I am so happy about it! While not quite as fast paced and fun as its predecessor, King of Fools is a solid sequel and I can't wait for the third book.

Second book syndrome is real but for the most part, I think this book didn't fall prey to the unfortunate trend. It was long, and did drag at times but overall this book did an incredible job of taking the characters, world and plot from Ace of Shades and expanding them.

I first want to talk about the absolute highlight of this book- Enne.
That. Character. Development. Though.
This, ladies and gentlemen is how you write a strong female lead without having to make her give up all the feminine sides of her identity. Enne has stayed true to her roots, while also experiencing character growth and coming into her own. Her girl gang was just *chefs kiss* amazing. It allowed us to see different sides of her, and really delve into who she is.

"It didn't matter whether she decked herself in knives or pearls. The world would always demand that a girl apologise for herself, but she would apologise for nothing."

We are still in New Reynes, one of my favourite fantastical worlds I have read about. The atmosphere in typical Amanda Foody style, makes you feel as if you are with the characters playing cards, walking along the streets or in a glitzy casino.

"You're trying to write yourself a legend, but you forget- all stories from the North Side are penned in blood."

However, the tone of this book felt vastly different the first. This instalment showed different, often unsavoury sides of our characters and we really delved into the gritty aspects of the politics. It feels as if the first book was a grand illusion, and in this book the curtain got ripped away. If you recall my review for Ace of Shades you would know how much I loved Levi. In King of Fools though, we got to see his flaws and discover that maybe he isn't really as in control as he presented himself to be. This was aided through the addition of a third point of view, Jac. I was initially uncertain when I saw he would have his own chapters, but they ended up being some of my favourites. They allowed us to see Levi through the eyes of someone who is not a) Levi or b) in love with Levi. I kind of hate this book for at times making me hate Levi, but I can appreciate the way his character was done.

Once I passed roughly the 150 pg mark, this book began to pick up. And boy oh boy was it STRESSFUL. It was at the same time fun and anxiety inducing to try and figure out who was backstabbing who and where people's loyalties really lay. King of Fools was much more politically centred than the first, so it was very heavy on the intricacies of New Reynes' gangs and governments (which are much more interconnected than you may think)

Overall, I didn't enjoy this book quite as much as the first mostly because of the major shift in tone that I was not prepared for and the 700+ pages that could have probably been cut down slightly. I am really excited to see where Queen of Volts takes the story, but I need some time to recover from that ending!
Profile Image for JustJJ.
102 reviews133 followers
November 23, 2022
This review and others @Bookerification

Rating: 3.5 stars

Cover: 🌟🌟🌟
This design is almost identical to that of the preceding book, Ace of Shades. While there are a few pattern changes, the main difference is in the colour scheme. The striking red colour of the previous design has been replaced with a subtle blue that makes this cover less eye-catching and appealing.

Writing: 🌟🌟🌟.5
Once again, Amanda Foody does a great job setting the tone and atmosphere of the story right from the start. Not only is a delightful undercurrent of tension and suspense established, but this deepens as the story progresses. The use of three different points of view (Levi's, Enne's and Jac's) increases the complexity of the characters and the fascinating world of New Reynes. While little is done to expand the magic system, more is revealed about the northside gangs and southside politics. This information is flawlessly woven into the story but eventually becomes too convoluted for me to fully grasp.

"Playing it safe isn't really playing at all"

Storyline: 🌟🌟🌟
The story begins a few days after previous events, and a gentle recap is incorporated into the first few chapters. Soon several ploys are set in motion, and a compelling web of political intrigue and gang conflict is established. Extensive details on the various personal challenges faced by the main characters mean that the story's pace is constantly stalled. However, this is redeemed by the explosive climax littered with shocking twists, betrayals and numerous deaths.

Main character(s): 🌟🌟🌟.5
Levi is an underdog you cannot help but root for despite his constant mistakes in this story. His battles with insecurity and ambition also make his character very relatable. In contrast, I felt disconnected from Enne as her character suddenly became hyper-feminine with little depth. I wanted her (and Levi) to be far more fierce and cunning instead of being pawns with little power.

"The world would always demand that a girl apologize for herself, but she would apologize for nothing."

Secondary characters: 🌟🌟🌟.5
Having Jac's perspective brought his character into the spotlight. He becomes more than just Levi's loyal friend as his character is given room to grow through various internal and external challenges. The remaining secondary characters are a diverse cast who help drive the storyline. However, only Vianca and Tock stood out to me as there is a lot of telling and not enough showing with the others.

Romance: 🌟🌟🌟
Compared to the previous book, Levi and Enne spend much less time together in this story. Their budding attraction is drowned by waves of politics and soon became too angsty for me. I found the other relationship introduced in this story far more interesting, as the characters had cute interactions with lots of banter. Unfortunately, this relationship fades into the background once the story picks up.

Despite its slow start, the intricate web of intrigue and ploys in 'King of Fools' ultimately leads to a great climax with numerous twists and betrayals. However, I realise now that I had high expectations for the main characters, and I cannot help but feel disappointed since these were not met. My recommendation for those who enjoyed this story would be The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen.

Profile Image for julianna ➹.
207 reviews263 followers
March 29, 2021
1. Ace of Shades ★★★★★
2. King of Fools ★★★★★
3. Queen of Volts


This was so much cleverness and un-subtle feminism— and I love it so much. Amanda said that this was her girl gang book and she is not wrong, at all. Why is this called King of Fools when it should be called Badassery.jpg?

you: Second Book Syndrome
Amanda Foody:
kicking in the door

misogynists: h-
Amanda Foody:
kicking in the door

people who hate on strong girl characters:
Amanda Foody:
kicking in the door

If someone wanted to call her naive, then they would. If someone wanted to call her heartless, then they would. It didn't matter whether she decked herself in knives or pearls. The world would always demand that a girl apologize for herself, but she would apologize for nothing.

I mean, I've read three of Amanda Foody's book so I think it's safe to say that she's on a quest to emotionally kill me because ???? ???? ????

But more importantly, this review will probably just be 1,000 words of love for my damn queen, Lord and Savior, Enne. She's fearless and strong and unapologetic and it was so satisfying to see her out there changing the world in her white gloves and dark lipstick and dress.

One of the things that I specifically appreciated about Enne's narrative was her embrace into her identity as someone who grew up in Bellamy and how she started refusing to take criticism and jokes of "being someone from a finishing school." Well-intended and light-hearted jokes can still be misogynistic microaggresions, and I love how smoothly this piece tackled that with Enne's character arc. My favorite thing ever was how Enne got her own group of girl friends who all were strong and willing to fight but also painted toenails and did face masks. (There was also so much casual lgbt+ diversity?? we had an f/f side romance & a character who was so casually mga.)

Not only this, but god, I loved Vianca so much. She was just a morally grey villain who did bad things to get what she wanted and wasn't apologetic about her methods in any way at all. I think that Vianca's discussions with Enne was what really did it for me; Vianca's past struggle to claim power within her family because she was a girl seriously made me emotionally attached to her. I think that Vianca truly had affection for Levi and Enne, but her actions were really messed-up and terrible.

If you want all of the characters to stay exactly the same as the characters from Ace of Shades, then don't read this book. Levi goes further than a charming and well-intentioned cheat, Enne goes further than being an innocent prim lady. All of the characters become so much more than what they originally were, and Amanda's characterization of them made them feel like solid, tangible people who make mistakes and sometimes do bad things.

Honestly, I'm kind of amazed at what Amanda Foody did. She really did... that. The fact that she introduced Jac's perspective really brought on a whole new level of dimension for the characters, specifically Levi. With his point of view, we can really see Levi so much more clearly: he's well-meaning and wants to be a positive influence on the world, but he often does more harm than good. His desperate reach for glory isn't shown as something endearing anymore, but rather self-destructive, and I think that that's something unique about this novel.

Something else I want to mention is the portrayal of drug addiction in this novel. The new perspective, Jac, is a recovering addict from a drug called Lullaby. I've never been addicted to drugs, but Jac's feeling of helplessness towards drug abuse seemed so palpable and realistic to me.

There was also a specific scene in which Levi's Gift for orb-making had historical weight— in the past, people (and Levi's family) had been killed for being orb-makers— and that was why Levi was personally against creating orbs. I seriously appreciated that this was mentioned and a part of Levi's character, especially in a fantasy world.

so, to conclude, 🤘 where is book 3 🤘

Trigger and content warnings for drug abuse & addiction, mentions of drug relapse, multiple bombings, murder of a close friend, strangulation, extreme violence, mild profanity, torture, alluded parental abuse, sadism and gunshots.
Profile Image for Silvia .
635 reviews1,402 followers
May 6, 2019
I was sent this book as an advanced copy by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.

King of Fools was one of my most anticipated sequels this year and I was not disappointed. Am I mad a this book and at Amanda Foody? Oh, hell yes. But I loved every second of it.

I believe that, in trilogies, second books should feel completely different from book one, and then book three should be an expansion of book two. We'll see what book three has in store for us, but for now I can say that this book had a totally different feeling from Ace of Shades, and it was great.

Different were the themes, the stakes, the pacing, the POVs. We saw old and new characters in a different light, and the city of New Reynes took its own rightful place as almost a character of its own, with its rich history and legends, even more so than in the first installment.

This book is so rich and full of events, each leading to new and more complicated plot points, that it's impossible to put it down. Even if you somehow weren't hooked to the plot, the characters are so interesting and you love them so much that you can't not keep reading.

Structurally speaking, KoF has two main differences: three POVs (Enne, Levi, Jac) and a both faster and slower pace. Faster because a lot more happens than in Ace, but spread out over several months instead of the ten days of Ace. I think that was necessary, although if we were to analyze it, some time skips were a little too convenient maybe, but I don't care too much about that. It all flowed well and came together nicely (OR SHOULD I SAY NOT NICELY) for the grand finale.

If you've read Ace, you know how much Enne grew in those pages, and here we see the lovely results of that. Mainly we get to see Enne form her own girl gang and it's everything you've ever needed in your life. I really appreciated the variety of girls there, even though obviously there needed to be a focus on only a few of them. Also, there was a lovely side f/f relationship and I'm ready to see more of it in the sequel.

While Enne changed a lot in a short time, Levi's character development in Ace had more to do with our perception of him the longer we stayed in his head. In KoF, I think it's fair to say that Levi does quite a bit of character development in the way that usually male characters (and men in general) do: his development is always the result of something that happens, usually something he regrets doing after seeing the consequences it had. I found this both realistic and frustrating at times, but in a way that was always consistent with who he was since the beginning of Ace.

Levi's development was also integrated by an outside perspective, mainly Jac's POV, into his flaws, but that's not all Jac was there for, which was something I was afraid of at the beginning. I'm glad we saw Jac have his own story line and his own agenda, and I loved his POV so much. Jac's POV also had one of the most terrifying scenes I've ever read, that literally had me forget to breathe while I was reading and I won't easily forget. I just want to say: Jac Mardlin, I am so fucking proud of you.

I think the writing also did improve, and there were a couple of scenes like the one I just talked about that proved it, as well as certain........decisions that Amanda Foody took. I am now equally excited and terrified for the sequel, because King of Fools was already a lot in terms of emotional wreckage.


TWs: mention of drug abuse and addiction, character deaths, violence, blood, explosions, murder, torture, executions.
Profile Image for laur gluchie.
302 reviews135 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
January 13, 2023
I have received a copy of this book through a giveaway hosted by the author. This has not affected my rating or review in any way.

DNF ~ 40%

I’ll come back to this when I reread Ace of Shades because I couldn’t remember a single thing before trying this and it just didn’t work out lol

Pre-Reading Updates

3/5/2018: *in W2S’s voice* IT’S BLUE!!! IT’S BLUUUEEE!!!!!
Profile Image for Cindy ✩☽♔.
999 reviews781 followers
April 22, 2019
Me the first 30-40% of the book:

Me the remainder of the book:

I think it's about time I realized this series just might not be for me. Because when I think dark, when I think gangsters, I do not think this book AT ALL. It's like my main issue with the first book became even more apparent to me here. That these aren't gangsters. These are kids in way over their head.

The writing itself is not bad, but I just could not bring myself to care much about anything that was happening.

The only thing that kept me reading was Levi and Enne. Both of who I liked, though did not love, as individuals and together. But by the end, their relationship is a huge blown up mess. So I think this might be the end of the road for me.

*Detailed Review to come*

I received a free ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thank you to the publishers for providing me with a copy to read and review.
Profile Image for Holly (Holly Hearts Books).
366 reviews3,048 followers
August 24, 2019
I liked this sequel. Unfortunately there was just a lot of romance coupling, angst and not a whole lot of magic. I’m curious how the third book will wrap up the story!
Profile Image for Kal ★ Reader Voracious.
548 reviews189 followers
December 26, 2021
While this review is spoiler-free, if you haven't read Ace of Shades yet, I'd recommend not reading this review or book synopsis as both have spoilers for book 1.
"Oaths, omertas, Chainers - there's a reason so many in the North Side favor such weapons. New Reynes killed the queen the very day she hoped to negotiate peace. The City of Sin was built on duplicity."
Friends, this was one of my most highly anticipated sequels of 2019 and Foody did not disappoint! There is a lot going on in this sequel and there is never a dull moment, but the narrative is easy to follow and infectious. Guard your hearts because if you were emotionally destroyed during Ace of Shades... uh... yea. I yelled HOW COULD YOU when I finished this one. This book is action-packed with character development galore and intensely feminist.

I was scared that this book would suffer from Middle Book Syndrome: there'd be a lot of waiting, a lot of preparing and very little action until the end, and the characters wouldn't really develop. I was so happy that these fears were unfounded because in all of these regards, KING OF FOOLS really shines. This is a more character development focused installment that sets a lot up for book 3. We learn more about the history and politics of New Reynes, building up to an intense ending - I can't wait for the third book!

With the Chancellor of the Republic dead, New Reynes is thrust into campaign season and there are two parties vying for power. New Reynes is in a bit of chaos not unlike all those years prior during the revolution, and history has a dangerous way of repeating itself. A street war is brewing beneath the surface, and it is a dangerous time to be vying for power on the North Side.
"Vianca wanted righteousness. Levi wanted glory. And she, Enne realized, wanted revenge."
Every character in this book is searching for something, vying for power of their very own. Vianca Augustine particularly is disturbingly interesting, and if you pre-order this book you will learn a bit more of her backstory in the free short story that is the pre-order incentive.

King of Fools is told in three points of view: Enne, Levi, and Jac. And as a person that often struggles with multiple POV narratives, it completely worked for me here. Each of them have their own goal and main focus/partnership, and it was really interesting to see the inside perspective from each and see how everything connects at the end. The story is intricately and impressively plotted.
"Despite his many recent and frightening brushes with death, the thought of failure scared him more. He would rather die a legend than end his life in anonymity."
Levi's ambitions were definitely prevalent in Ace of Shades; however, they come to the fore in King of Fools as he will do anything to become a legend himself. He is determined to claim his destiny and freedom, and it is painful to watch his dogged pursuit for me as he is willing to sacrifice those he loves to get what he wants. Levi's dogged pursuit of becoming a legend and securing his freedom pits his aspirations with those he holds most dear. My heart hurts just thinking about it. I do think that the whole "forbidden love" aspect for Levi and Enne was a little heavy handed with the "will-they-won't-they" being dragged out, especially because they are my OTP. I really loved learning more of Lola and Jac's backstories, especially more about Levi and Jac's friendship. This little found family of Levi, Jac, and Enne is tested in King of Fools as each of them enter into unlikely partnerships.
"If Enne was about to become a street lord, then she could make her own rules. The City of Sin would learn that a pistol painted pink was just as lethal."
Amanda's long referred to this installment as "the girl gang book," and that definitely describes this book. After the events of Ace of Shades, she has taken on the Seance persona to create her own gang (the Spirits), and the relationships that she builds with Lola and new additions to the cast are precious. I am so happy that we get to see more of Lola in this book, she provides levity and witty asides throughout.
"'Fine,' Lola huffed. 'But you better not be in trouble, because I really don't have time today to say you."
The fact that she is a "rule-abiding, knife collecting fraud" cracks me up: she has no qualms with so much of what happens but won't jaywalk honestly would be me. Every character was fleshed out in this book as we learn more about their pasts, inner conflicts, and desires.

One of the things that I love about this series, and this book in particular, is the girl power. Our female characters are tough and strong, but do not fall into the typical YA stereotype of being hard. They like nice things, dresses, and romance books; and Enne's gang wears white gloves. They are ladies that also happen to be a part of the seedy underbelly of the North Side. They are strong and not in need of being saved by men, and their struggles are more than their relationship with men. And they want to achieve their own glory.
"Enne didn't want a savior. She wanted a partner."
The leaders of the other street gangs and their seconds make random appearances, and I will admit that I had a difficult time keeping the many side characters straight. I do love how Enne and Levi are forced to grapple with the events of the first book, and how everything came back around by the end of this book. The last 35-40% of the book had me in an anxiety spiral and the ending broke me.

Overall, I really enjoyed King of Fools! It didn't feel like a fluffy connector book in the trilogy, but rather took a lot of time to expand out knowledge of the intricate world and develop the characters we know and love even further. Be warned that the book builds up the action steadily and the end of the book is both heartbreaking and a cliffhanger. Fans of found families and girl power definitely need to pick up this series!

REPRESENTATION: bisexual rep, characters of color, diverse characters, f/f romance, m/m romance, PTSD rep
CONTENT WARNINGS: drug abuse and recovery, murder, violence

Many thanks to Inkyard Press for sending me an eARC via NetGalley for my honest review! Quotes are taken from an unfinished ARC and may not match final publication.
Blog | Twitter | Pinterest

My pre-reading & review thoughts in case you want to see my fangirling.
Profile Image for Iris.
549 reviews253 followers
August 31, 2020



Profile Image for sam.
369 reviews542 followers
October 6, 2019
blood, scheming, betrayal, plot twists oh my. This book really went all out. The reason i’m only giving this a 4.5 ⭐️ is because i kept getting confused in between and it could’ve been my fault or the writing i’m really not sure but other than that this book delivered and reached my expectations. The character growth for Erienne was tremendous and honestly if you compare her character in the first book to this one you’ll find few similarities. I love the representation and i found it quite unique what the author did in this series because i’ve actually never seen it done before. At least in the books i’ve read. All in all i’m really just disappointed i haven’t read this sooner because it was a great read and y’all should definitely check this series out.
Profile Image for Amelie.
90 reviews39 followers
January 31, 2021
“Because the hero of one story is the villain of someone else’s. It’s all just a matter of who wins.”

This was a highly enjoyable sequel to Ace of Shades, and I loved how the stakes were higher than ever with tension in the air and the beginning signs of another street war. I love how fascinating the world in this series is, with its dark atmosphere, unique magic system involving blood talents, street gangs, criminal lords, political drama, morally-grey characters, and slow-burn romance. While I felt like the book lacked in action at times and was heavily focused on the political happenings of the city, the writing was immensely engaging, and all those plot twists at the end have left me eager to read the final book in the series.

This book expanded to a three-way point of view narration between Enne, Levi and Jac. We get to follow Enne, who has lost everything from her previous life but is forced to create her own street gang under the criminal persona Séance, Levi, who is desperate to rebuild his own gang and fulfil his dreams for power and status, and Jac, who is caught up in a dangerous political game where not everything is as it seems. I loved the idea of Enne running her own girl gang which was incredibly inspiring and empowering to see. I liked how she bonded with her gang members, and how even though they were often underestimated as girls, they proved to be a force to be reckoned with. The interactions between the other criminal lords of the street gangs were also incredibly interesting and intense, and all added to the suspense of the story.

“Vianca wanted righteousness. Levi wanted glory. And she, Enne realized, wanted revenge.”

I love how the characters are morally-grey characters with evident flaws and struggles in this book. Enne has become so much more stronger and confident in her abilities, and it was really interesting seeing her create and run her own girl gang under the criminal persona Séance. I love how incredibly well her character growth has been done. When she first entered the city she was a snobby and naive schoolgirl, but after losing everything and being exposed to the dark secrets of her past and the city, she has matured more and created her own name in history. I would have liked to see her actually use her Mizer powers in this book since it was hyped up a lot and we still don’t know much about her powers, but hopefully we’ll see the full extent of her powers in the next book.

I liked how we got to see another side to Levi in this book, and how he was desperate to fulfil his ambitions to rebuild the Irons gang no matter what. We really got to see how power-hungry he could be, and how flawed he was. But deep down, despite his reckless behaviour in always bargaining for more, he did care for Enne and his fellow gang members, and always held himself responsible for their problems. I found it ironic how Levi craves to have power and was willing to sacrifice anything to fulfil his dreams, while Enne has power but never wanted it in the first place. Their relationship was so complicated. While I liked some of their interactions and their chemistry, they had so many communication issues throughout this book, and after the events at the end of this book I am curious to see how they will get through their problems.

“It takes more strength to be vulnerable than it does to appear invincible.”

The inclusion of Jac’s POV was incredibly interesting, and I liked that we got to learn more about him and his dreams of success. His relationship with Sophia was really sweet, and I liked how he was willing to help her out in bringing down the Torren Empire. That ending broke me though. Sophia was definetely a compelling character and I loved how layered she was and her blood talent was incredibly fascinating. She was a lot more interesting than the other side characters, and I felt like Lola, Grace, and Tock acted in the exact same way.

This was a highly enjoyable sequel to the first book, and a series I would highly recommend to others. With its dark atmosphere, unique magic system, street gangs, criminal lords, and morally-grey characters, what is there not to love? It’s an underrated series that definetely deserves more attention, and I cannot wait to read the final instalment in the series!

4/5 stars
Profile Image for Lauren Lanz.
686 reviews247 followers
May 26, 2019
4.5 stars for how violated King of Fools left me feeling. Amanda Foody, you sly fox, how dare you do this to us?

“Don’t let your fallen heroes stop you from wanting to become one.”

After the events of Ace of Shades, Levi and Enne have got large bounties on their heads. The faces of the Irons, Doves and Scarhands are in the papers for everyone to see, except Enne’s identity remains unknown, leaving only her assumed role ‘Seance’ for the public to ponder over. In hope of regaining their freedom, Levi and Enne each get themselves into a dangerous game of murder and crime. Vianca’s omerta threatens both of their chances at a new life, and they’ll have to make sacrifices bigger than they could have ever imagined if it means a way out.
The plot in King of Fools relies heavily on politics. Levi and Enne get tangled on opposite sides of a New Reynes election. The two each promised to help someone win, and in turn are offered more than they could dream in the chance that they succeed.


Things started getting crazy within the first few chapters, which is always fantastic. There are so many plotlines and problems introduced right away, that it’s hard to predict just what might happen. Things started to go of the rails a lot, and there were many times when I began questioning characters I previously trusted. Amanda Foody really stepped things up from where they were in book one, King of Fools was easily far greater in multiple aspects.


Ace of Shades gave us POV’s from our protagonists Levi and Enne. King of Fools gives us both of those along with an added POV from Jac.

Jac Mardlin was my favourite character in book one despite how little he appeared. Naturally, I enjoyed his perspective here the most. It was amazing to explore Jac’s friendship and history with Levi in more depth, there was so much to his character we had never heard about in Ace of Shades. We got insight on his addiction and fights, his place in the Irons, and how he met his best friend, Levi.

Enne’s POV was what made this 4.5 stars rather than five. It was getting tiring hearing her remind us every chapter about how she went from having the etiquette of queen Victoria to being a gang leader in a couple of weeks. I would have been fine with Enne actually acting on things more, rather than thinking about how she used to be prim and proper a month ago and hates her new life. Her girl gang was awesome though, and I liked them a lot more than Enne herself.


If the first book of The Shadow Game series wasn’t it for you; King of Fools might just change that.


Jac Mardlin.

If you’ve read the book, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Profile Image for Alice.
298 reviews113 followers
June 6, 2019
3.5 stars

How come my faves always be dying? I'm still trying to figure out how to word all my feelings about this, so please stay tuned. My main problem is definitely telling us character motivations vs. showing us motivations. Also Jac is the best character POV.

Full review on my blog: here

King of Fools was one of my most-anticipated reads of the year. I loved Ace of Shades, the predecessor to KOF. Well, I poured 5 days over this chunky boy, so obviously I have thoughts to spill!

Positives: Jac and Lola!
+ Jac’s POV is included in KOF. It stands well on its own and adds so much dimension to Jac’s character. I have no complaints about Jac’s character arc – it feels the most complete and logical out of the three POVs we do get

+ Jac and Lola’s friendship is also my fave. I honestly prefer their friendship to Jac and Levi’s, even though I like how deep and winding that relationship was. I almost half-expected them to get together, but their camaraderie as 2nds for their respective lords works well either way.
+ Lola. Just Lola.

+ Narinder is the goth gaysian musician rep I always wanted. He also says NO to you ruining his club. Narinder deserved better than being a temporary love interest, if you can call him that.

+ Roy our boy being a rogue cop and an honorary member of the Spirits (Enne’s gang)

+ If you had any doubt Reymond was mlm, we have confirmation he was. Speaking of Reymond, he was mentioned more times in KOF than he actually was in AOS Guess that’s the legacy when you’re hot shit.

+ The Grace and Enne friendship was great! So was the Poppy and Enne friendship. I was lukewarm about Grace at the beginning, but when she , that was some powerful stuff. Though I do wish Grace got some more depth than “I was alone before, but now I have you guys as friends I’ve seen the light!”

Negatives: Levi and Enne are the weak links in this book. Levi is at least consistent throughout his arc; he just wasn’t particularly interesting to read about because it felt like a more in-depth rehash of what we previously knew to be true about Levi. Enne’s arc made less sense. Based on how AOS ended I thought we would have delved deeper into Mizer history, but instead Enne’s arc was about her moral dilemma about shooting people and wanting power because she hated being overlooked. That’s fine and dandy because it makes sense for her to progress that way, but there are more interesting ways to write it to connect it all to the main mystery of the story.

- I was waiting for Enne to develop her Mizer talent, but she never did. Was that maybe too predictable to embezzle volts with her powers? We may never know, but Grace certainly suggested it.

- Levi is so annoying when he’s not with Enne. He’s not with Enne a lot here. He is exponentially more likeable when he and Enne are together – I think because he’s on his best behavior with her and also Enne likes Levi, so we are more inclined to like Levi when Enne does.

- The Vianca thing – Viana’s attitude towards other women wasn’t really fleshed out as much as it was Enne just projecting her assumptions about Vianca to the audience. Even though I like the idea of Foody challenging sexism in the Ace of Shades (AOS) world, she doesn’t do a good job of establishing the playing field of how it initially operates (like maybe during the 1st Enne chapter would have been nice), so the execution of discussing the sexism in Enne’s POV chapters was clunky, out of place, and unconvincing at times, like you’re adding talking points but not in a meaningful or directed way.

- More brown people in the girl gang, please.
- Not a lot of build up about how BAD the other street lords were.
- I thought Harrison would have had a much more major and active role in KOF based on the epilogue in AOS, but alas I called it wrong.
- We don’t trust people named in this house.

KOF’s plot is less predictable than AOS’s, though it’s not exactly a mystery who might be the ultimate baddy at the end of the story based on the seeds Foody planted. The mystery was in how we faced off with them. Many plot threads branch out in so many directions, it felt like KOF struggled to find its focus when trying to bring all the threads back into a converging main story.

Trouble keeping up with why everything was happening. Levi and Enne POVs were the biggest offenders of this, but Jac’s POV was pretty solid throughout. He gotta get Torren votes for The First Party/Harrison to help out Levi at first but then he makes it personal. Jac wants to see the Torrens burn because they distribute the drug Lullaby, of which Jac is a recovering addict. There is a singular purpose for Jac to do what he does at first. It’s simple to digest and ties in to the rest of the plot when the rest of the plot itself is in knots and tangles. Jac’s character arc gets development and conclusion, and it gets really emotional because of his struggles. It’s hard not to get invested into Jac. The only reason I could at least tolerate Levi outside of the Enne romance was because of his relation to Jac.

Enne wants revenge on the Pheonix Club for killing Lourdes and to be free of Viana’s omerta. She gotta build her gang for some convoluted reason, but a girl gang’s a girl gang. Enne’s ARC in KOF is very unclear to me. I desperately hope this is a build-up to Mizer queen Enne, but if it is, it was a painfully lackluster one. She craves power because she was mediocre before and tired of being overlooked especially in favor of those she thinks she’s better than/can be better than. Is she gonna kill for it? Let’s find out.

Enne’s feminism thread – wasn’t introduced in like the first chapter so it felt out of place when it started to be peppered throughout the story. A lot of events and interactions just felt like vehicles to tack on a feminist message. The messages I don’t disagree with, but they failed to be incorporated organically within the narrative imo so it was particularly jarring to read some plot advancement and then at the very last few paragraphs, Enne had to include “because x is a girl, so y.” Imagine if Damsel by Elana K. Arnold had ended each chapter with “because Ama was a girl.” Alskjfdlaksjdf I’m exaggerating but that's how it came across.

Levi- Wants his grand destiny and to be free of Vianca’s omerta. All this kid does is make mistakes, but at least he’s consistent in that. Levi’s arc makes more sense because it’s backed up by his family’s history with the Mizers as orbmakers. He’s got a gang to rebuild and learns sometimes chasing that grand destiny isn’t worth it if you lose who’s important to you in the process. I’m not sure what this is supposed to provide to the plot besides Levi constantly putting Jac and the others in dangerous situations and always asking more. We already knew this about his character. We didn’t need 600 pages for him to reach that decision, though.

The Monarchist vs. The First Party election is a mess. It’s meant to be, in-universe. But it’s also a mess to read. There are so many antagonists introduced…

So Many Enemies: Vianca, Harrison, the Torrens, Bryce, Jonas, Ivory, the popo

… and little build-up for most of them to seem like believable, fierce mob bosses/gang leaders or other formidable threats (sans the Torrens; Jac’s whole POV was dedicated to taking them down with intense focus). You’d think with all the meandering about Enne and Levi’s love lives, our MCs would be their own worst enemies? But no, there’s bigger fish to fry, but y’all are just shooting those fish in the barrel instead. The gang alliance and stock-market protection ploys fell in place too easily, it was either too predictable that it would fall through, though I’m unsure whether it was due to plot convenience or poor planning. Seems like if the convenient constant gunfire stopping the flow of every important conversation scene trick hadn’t prevented the MCs from just communicating, we wouldn’t have most of these problems.

Vianca and Harrison running interference with each other should have been more central to the plot because their mother-son conflict is what facilitated the entire plot of KOF in the first place. Yet they’re held in the background for so long, when they emerge as actual active players trying to screw with Enne and Levi’s plans it feels so out of left-field when the feeling should be so natural. There was a real problem picking what threads to focus on in KOF; it feels as though there was set-up and forced payoff for them at the end without each one getting proper development. A lot of this election shit isn’t thematically pertinent. There’s no obligation to be because this is about gang conflict, and shit always happens, but for the purpose of a book, I just want you to get to the point and develop the things important about getting to the point. This web of enemies might seem complex, but it really just lacks focus in storytelling. I’ve heard of four-corner opposition, but this a polygon with several more points than a square.

In the back burner: Bryce wants to kill Vianca, betrays the rest of the gangs to kill Vianca…? Why? Who knows? Because Vianca made him kill his friends. It was foreshadowed but not fully developed. Now prolly Enne will have this dilemma bc Vianca made her kill her friends too.
But we been knew because Bryce was pointedly creepy af and Harvey was suspicious so he was prolly coming back to be the big bad. Was that supposed to be the hint that he was the The way this was handled was too simplistic, even if it was laid out all before us to piece together. We’re not invested in Bryce as an interesting force within the narrative. He just has a creepy glare.

My KOF fanfic that ignores canon:

I’ll be out there writing King of Fools fanfic.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Roobie.
670 reviews88 followers
September 25, 2020
⭐️4 stars⭐️

If someone wanted to call her naive, then they would.
If someone wanted to call her heartless, then they would.
It didn't matter whether she decked herself in knives or pearls. The world would always demand that a girl apologize for herself, but she would apologize for nothing.
Profile Image for The Nerd Daily.
720 reviews345 followers
June 12, 2019
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Portia Brown

“Because the hero of one story is the villain of someone else’s. It’s all just a matter of who wins.”

King of Fools by Amanda Foody is the second book in her The Shadow Game trilogy. A sequel often tends to suffer from second-book-syndrome, but this one felt like a totally different book in comparison to the first book, Ace of Shades. The first book felt more like its own original story while the second successfully expands on the story and the consequences of the events of the first book.

At the end of Ace of Shades, Enne and Levi both survive the shadow game and as a result, they are both wanted for murder. Now, they must avoid getting caught and they need to build up successful gangs on the north side of New Reynes. They’re gambling with everything they have, which could either cause their downfall or gain them the freedom they desire from the one who practically owns them.

The world of New Reynes is reintroduced to us through this story and the folklore surrounding the city of New Reynes is brought in. We get to see more of the darker parts of the city and the people who live in it. We also get to see a lot more of the south side and learn more about the political goings on.

The story moves from a hunt for someone and more to surviving and becoming who you are. We get to see more about the power dynamic and how the power shifts between characters as they move in a game without any real rules. It keeps you on the edge of your seat to see who is going to pull through to the very end. The book is so full of events and complicated plot points and even if you aren’t completely hooked onto the plot, the characters are so interesting that you have to keep reading.

Speaking of the characters, we get three perspectives in this book (Enne, Levi, and Jac). In Ace of Shades, we get to see Enne grow a lot over the ten days that she is in the City of Sin, and we see the results of that. Enne gets to form her own girl gang filled with a variety of girls who all show amazing girl power.

Whilst Enne changed a lot in the first book, Levi’s character development is a lot slower and becomes clearer in this book. His development is often the result of something that happens and he learns after he regrets doing something that had consequences he didn’t like. It’s realistic even if it is frustrating at times.

Jac’s perspective was an interesting addition to the story as we get to see an outsider perspective to show us Levi’s flaws and developments as well as Enne’s. Jac also got his own storyline and his own agenda which were very enjoyable as well as sometimes terrifying to read about.

All the relationships between the characters in the first book and the new ones, fully evolve tp become more front and center in this book. Getting three perspectives really helped with the character development and we get to see how all their individual plots and plans come together. Amanda Foody really expanded the story and the world of New Reynes in this book and she shows how you can create characters that almost seem real.

King of Fools is a book about ambition, loss, and vengeance. It’s about luck, games, gambling, murder, manipulation and death while being painful, ruthless, complicated, and extravagant. It’s a great sequel with an intense plot filled with twists and turns that will leave you wanting more.
Profile Image for Darinda.
8,167 reviews145 followers
May 15, 2019
The second book in The Shadow Game series by Amanda Foody. This book picks up where the first book, Ace of Shadows, ended.

Favorite characters are back (Enne, Levi, Jac) and new characters are introduced. The characters in this series are so intriguing. This novel is told using multiple points of view, which gives insight into several characters. I especially love the strong female characters.

The fun thing about this series is the politics in New Reynes. With so many people trying to be in power, nobody can be trusted. That's made very clear in this book.

This YA fantasy series is action-packed and fun to read. I can't wait for the next book... especially after that ending.

I received a free eARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for prag ♻.
588 reviews587 followers
April 2, 2019
• the wildest part of this reading experience was Ju accidentally guessing the ending in the first chapter
• SAPPHIC LOLA SANGUICK!! (i called it)
• #girlgangbook lives UP
• i love girls
• feMINism yeAh
• levi?? jac?? everything?? IT'S SO WELL WRITTEN
• enne <33333
Profile Image for solanne.
196 reviews479 followers
September 15, 2020
wow, Amanda Foody must be pretty strong from carrying the weight of all the hearts she’s broken

Profile Image for Maria V. Snyder.
Author 79 books16.9k followers
September 15, 2021
Book 2 of this series and you do need to read Book 1, Ace of Shades to figure out what's going on. I really loved the world Amanda created and all the characters - there's so many twists that my neck hurt by the end ;) I LOVED Saskia Maarleveld's narration.

There's a third book, Queen of Volts and I have the audio edition, but I'm hesitant to listen because it's a new narrator - ARGH! Why?? I might just have to read this one because I doubt the new narrator will do the voices correctly. Sigh. Yes, I'll still give it a go and listen to at least the first chapter. Grumble. Pout.

Four stars instead of five because
Profile Image for Yeganeh.
545 reviews218 followers
January 9, 2022
“yesterday, he was vulnerable.
Today, He would become untouchable.
his destiny was upon him ...”

To quote Levi “Holy Muck”.

There’s so much happening, and a lot of political intrigue, as Harrison Augustine is now a politician and is running against the monarchist party his mother heavily supports. I think one of my favorite aspects of the novel is how masterfully it explores the gray area of politics and how there’s truly no good or bad party, because corruption has essentially taken over, and it was a great reflection of real life.

┉┉┅┄┄┈•◦ೋ•◦❥•◦ೋ Characters

Enne wants revenge on the Pheonix Club for killing Lourdes and to be free of Viana’s omerta. She gotta build her gang for some convoluted reason, but a girl gang’s a girl gang. Enne’s ARC in KOF is very unclear to me. I desperately hope this is a build-up to Mizer queen Enne, but if it is, it was a painfully lackluster one.

Levi is so annoying when he’s not with Enne. He’s not with Enne a lot here. He is exponentially more likeable when he and Enne are together – I think because he’s on his best behavior with her and also Enne likes Levi, so we are more inclined to like Levi when Enne does.

Levi’s character development is a lot slower and becomes clearer in this book. His development is often the result of something that happens and he learns after he regrets doing something that had consequences he didn’t like. It’s realistic even if it is frustrating at times.

Jac’s POV is included in KOF. Jac and Lola’s friendship is also my fave. I honestly prefer their friendship to Jac and Levi’s, even though I like how deep and winding that relationship was. I almost half-expected them to get together, but their camaraderie as 2nds for their respective lords works well either way.

┉┉┅┄┄┈•◦ೋ•◦❥•◦ೋ 🛑🛑 SPOIELR BELOW🛑🛑

First thing FIRST, Enne was forced to shoot Jac to fulfill Vianca’s omerta.

She didn’t have to fulfil the omerta that way, but the struggle was whether she could resist the omerta, not a moral decision. The idea of it having to be killing Jac was supposed to be planted in her head because she was planning on killing other people? Unconvincing.

When she wanted to kill other people, she didn’t think about how to hurt them in the worst way. These moral decisions are no worse than any of the other shit other characters were doing in AOS and KOF. Bryce was the application of whether Enne was morally willing to shoot people but that’s different ‘cause Bryce killed people and was antagonizing the entire building. It’s not even the same as being forced to hurt someone because he’s important to you and someone else you care about. This entire debacle feels like a false equivalent and a move just to push Enne into shooting Jonas before he squealed at the execution. They could have just saved Jonas tbh.

So Many Enemies: Vianca, Harrison, the Torrens, Bryce, Jonas, Ivory, the popo

… and little build-up for most of them to seem like believable, fierce mob bosses/gang leaders or other formidable threats (sans the Torrens; Jac’s whole POV was dedicated to taking them down with intense focus). You’d think with all the meandering about Enne and Levi’s love lives, our MCs would be their own worst enemies? But no, there’s bigger fish to fry, but y’all are just shooting those fish in the barrel instead.

In the back burner: Bryce wants to kill Vianca, betrays the rest of the gangs to kill Vianca…? Why? Who knows? Because Vianca made him kill his friends. It was foreshadowed but not fully developed. Now prolly Enne will have this dilemma bc Vianca made her kill her friends too.

But we been knew because Bryce was pointedly creepy af and Harvey was suspicious so he was prolly coming back to be the big bad. Was that supposed to be the hint that he was the third omerta holder? hmmm...

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, We don’t trust people named Sophia in this house.

┉┉┅┄┄┈•◦ೋ•◦❥•◦ೋ 🛑🛑END OF SPOIELR 🛑🛑
“she told me, evil isn't random. that's what makes it the opposite of goodness. evil is designed.”

I was pretty much sold in the last half/third of this book, the plot really picks up, there are some great twists and turns and some fabulous betrayals – I would expect nothing less from this series. All in all, King of Fools definitely served justice to its predecessor. Although not perfect, you can feel the passion that Amanda Foody poured into this story and the world, and how much care she took into crafting this plot. There were so many plot twists and character deaths I never would’ve seen coming, and despite my lazy braincells not keeping up with this book as much as the first one, it was good.
Profile Image for Ezzy.
161 reviews48 followers
May 23, 2019
''I think it takes more strength to be vulnerable than it does to appear invincible.''

Amanda Foody wrote another breathtaking book that just tore my heart out. It was beautiful, painful, emotional, entertaining and so much more. I very much enjoyed this book and it was in several ways better than book one. The ending was even more exciting than the one of Ace of Shades and it seems really promising for the finale.

The plot was tailored perfectly. The story picked up right after the ending of book one and perfectly showed the aftermath and character reactions to The Shadow Game. You could feel the stakes, risks and consequences of things that happened or people did at any given moment. It was a real edge-of-the-seat read and I had so much trouble putting it down when reading.
The development of the plot was really a build up. It gets tenser and tenser over the course of the story and it is full of unexpected turns. It really works up to the ending and makes you want to read the last hundred or so pages in one go.

The book had several time jumps, sometimes a few days, sometimes several weeks, and they all felt totally in place. It would just have made the book slow to not include them. They also made room for some character and story development that couldn't have been there without the time jumps.

Speaking of character development, I am actually very impressed to see all the characters, old and new, have evolved throughout this book. All actions and events have direct consequences for the behaviour of characters. I can't really go into too much detail without revealing too much. But I can say I really liked that and it made the characters feel more real, you know?

Writing wise you can feel that Amanda really improved. She really took her time for this book to be right and it shows. It is very hard to imagine Amanda is just 24 years old and this is her third book in less than two years. The quality of Amanda's work would suggest she has been at publishing her work for many more years.

I am very much looking forward to the conclusion of this trilogy and whatever Amanda Foody will share with us after. I read her debut, Daughter of the Burning City, back when it was featured in a Fairyloot box in 2017. Her writing and imagination is what made me an immediate fan and that love is growing still.

I would really recommend The Shadow Game series to everyone. It has amazing character ARC's, gangs & gangsters, darkness and instead of magic it has something unique, something new. Everyone has two talents inherited by their family: a blood talent, which is the strongest, and a split talent. It can be dancing, acrobatics, counting, sensing auras, everything you can think of. This is a one of a kind series that every fan of YA fantasy should pick up.

Available on Bookdepository!

Reviews of other books in this series: / Reviews of other books by this author:
Daughter of the Burning City
Ace of Shades (The Shadow Game #1)
Excerpt of King of Fools (The Shadow Game #2)

Read more reviews on my blog:
Profile Image for booksneedcaffeinetoo.
339 reviews92 followers
April 30, 2019
I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

February 13, 2019
Wow. Somehow I got approved for the eARC. I guess this is where I add that disclaimer?
Thank you Netgalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Did I do that right?

"The hero of one story is the villain of someone else's. It's all just a matter of who wins."

This book picks up right where Ace of Shades left off. And right from the get go things are intense.

I just want to say that Amanda really stepped up her writing game in this book. The dialogue was excellent and there were so many lines that were beautiful constructed. If you like the writing style in books like Vicious, then you'll enjoy KING OF FOOLS.

So in this book we are given three POVs:
A bisexual disaster. My poor boy just needs a vacation and some painkillers. Always dapper. Can smirk the pants off anyone. Definitely would want to grab a drink and play Tropps with him (which he would promptly make of fun of me for getting something sweet and then take all my money because I'm shit at cards).

A finishing school dropout. Newest street lord. Always dressed for success. Don't mess with a woman in pearls. I want to join her girl gang (seriously though, is she taking applications).

The sweetest friend. Looks like he could kill you, is actually a cinnamon roll. Chain smoker. All around stand up guy. Can he be my new best friend (and tell me who his tattoo artist is)?!

So what is this story about?
It's all about legends. How do they start? How do you become one? What goes into making a legend? Why would you want to be one? What drives these legends to stay around for years to come? Also it's about Levi and Enne and Jac and a ton of other minor characters who I adore.

The neat thing about KING OF FOOLS is that it takes place over the course of months while ACE OF SHADES lasted only ten days. Which was really cool to see that Amanda can nail storytelling for a short or long time span.

Also so many almost kiss scenes!!!!!! my faveeeeeee.

The character arcs were pretty stellar. And I absolutely adored the additions of new characters (like Grace and Tock). This truly is the girl gang book of my dreams.

There is this one scene especially that I hope remains in the finished version where a certain gang holds a certain guy captive and he's talking about how a certain person doesn't negotiate with... CUE DRAMATIC PAUSE as he looks around the room full of teen girls in pink pjs and wearing curlers in their hair and probably having face masks on...before saying the word 'gansters.' and I could just imagine the long pause as he scans the room and uses the last ounce of his pride as he forces himself to admit these girls essentially having a teen slumber party are actually a scary street gang. Ah, I lived for that scene.

Overall I really loved this book! The pacing. The characters. The writing style. The new threats. THAT ENDING.

Content Warnings: addiction (gambling, narcotics), mentions of genocide (killing groups of powerful Mizers), violence, gang life, emesis, mentions of self-harm (scars on page, harm off-page), forcing people to do things against their will (via omerta), some minor anxiety caused from PTSD due to the events from the last book, death
Profile Image for Sail ♛ A Wicked Reader.
239 reviews86 followers
September 9, 2022
4.5 stars!! And you can check out my full review here

“The city felt like the hush before a stage curtain lifted, but what the city waited for was war.”

The previous novel in this series, Ace of Shades, is one of my all time favorites and I’ve read it a couple of times. This was everything I could have hoped for in a sequel, and more, but I didn’t enjoy it quite as much because it was a bit slower paced. It was still a fantastic read, albeit a long one, so I ended up giving it 4.5 stars.

First and foremost, we have the characters. All of the cast from the last novel are back, but we’re also introduced to a vast array of new diverse and complex characters in this installment. With so many new people being thrown in at once, it could have been very easy for some of them to fall flat and feel one dimensional. But that did not happen here. Amanda Foody is truly talented at crafting characters and that shines through in King of Fools. I loved every single one of them, including the villains.

“Maybe your soul didn’t break like a bone. Maybe it broke like a promise.”

The setting of New Reynes was pretty fleshed out already, but there were still a lot of new and surprising twists in this one. There was even more world-building and we got to learn a lot more about all of the legendary gangs and crime families. Due to that fact, this was a lot darker read than Ace of Shades, but that’s what made it so original. We used to only have Enne’s and Levi’s POVs, but I was extremely excited that here we also got a POV from Jac! Seeing his struggle with addiction and overdose was so painful because I love him, but it was perfect for this story.

My absolute favorite thing about this whole novel however, is the new girl gang. They flaunt their femininity with lace gloves, by giving each other manicures, using face masks, and keeping up with juicy gossip in magazines. But they do all of this while being the most successful gang and one of the scariest in the entire city. It was perfect and I was LIVING for it.

“The City of Sin would learn that a pistol painted pink was just as lethal.”

The only downside to this wonderfully painful book was it’s length and pacing. Due it’s page count being over 600, it felt extremely long and just wasn’t as fast paced as I was used to from Ace of Shades. I understand that it was so long to help flesh out the new characters, and explore some more of the world, but I would have preferred it being a little shorter. Then it would have been a perfect read for me.

Rating: ★★★★.5

Amanda Foody is still one of my favorite authors even though this ending really hurt my heart. I’d highly recommend this series to all fantasy lovers, but especially those that liked Six of Crows, Caraval, or White Cat.
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,316 reviews215 followers
May 28, 2019
Wow, it has been a while since I've read the first book of this little series. Yet, I still didn't reread that book and just dove into this one.

King of Fools was a good book. I loved the audio but I have no idea how I would feel if I actually read the ebook or physical at this point. Mostly because I'm at work, super busy (there's absolutely nothing for me to do) and yet.. I'm constantly getting distracted. Super happy I didn't have a buddy for this because I would be making up comments left and right about something super random. Yup. YET, I enjoyed this little book.

The characters were even more amazing than they were in the first book - which is always a good sign for a sequel. I loved seeing Enne, Levi, Lola, and Jac again. I also really enjoyed seeing their relationship grow more with each page/chapter. Plus the endless adventure they were all on definitely took me for a ride.

While seeing all my favorites again, I definitely have a new favorite in this one. Won't mention them thought because then I'm going to down a dark hole and spoil the entire book. Just know that they were what this book needed, even if I wasn't prepared for them one bit.

Overall, I know that there's going to be another book and you should all know that I'm not playing. I will be diving back into the first book and this one once again before that beauty comes into my arms. Or eyes.

Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,129 reviews

Join the discussion

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.